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Topic # 230642 6-Mar-2018 11:37
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Not really sure if this belongs in DIY or Off-Topic, but since it really isn't "DIY", I thought I'd pose the question here.

 

I am looking to buy a property in Wellington (first home buyer), and there was a house that I looked at yesterday that I was quite keen on (in the Wellington City Council area) but I noticed that the small walkway space (within this property's section) between this potential property and the next-door's section's retaining wall has drainge holes at the bottom, and the entire walkway was very damp (it hasn't rained here in a week).

 

Now this would be a deal breaker, but is this legal?

 

Pics posted to hopefully illustrate the issue more clearer:

 

https://i.imgur.com/AdvBIFH.jpg

 

https://i.imgur.com/of8mO5h.jpg

 

https://i.imgur.com/oddFAWA.jpg


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  Reply # 1968823 6-Mar-2018 11:54
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I'd say that yes - that's perfectly legal.

 

The wall is "probably" entirely within the down hill property boundary, it's not very high so probably wouldn't ever have needed building consent, some drain holes like that are pretty normal, to deal with the dampness it wouldn't be too hard to create a small drain to direct the water away from the path.

 

I'd be more concerned about that concrete block wall which looks very shoddy and potentially dangerous.


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  Reply # 1968824 6-Mar-2018 11:54
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I was involved in some drainage issues when we sold our home last year. I believe it is non compliant if one home sends water to the neighbour. Clearly its always been like this, but that doesnt make it legal. Some things can stay if they were compliant then, but are not now. 

 

Ring the Council to ask. Is the retaining wall yours or their's? It retains their spoil, but it also retains your pathway from the next door property so not that obvious whose it is

 

Maybe you are allowed to plug the drain holes, so their water stays on their property


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  Reply # 1968825 6-Mar-2018 11:59
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IANAL: Years ago we had an cross boundary drainage issue at our family farm - neighbour formed a paper road along our boundary causing run off and substantial erosion on our adjacent pasture.  We were advised that the natural flow of water from our neighbour's place onto our's was legal.  What constitutes natural was not that clear.  It pretty much seemed to be anything caused by gravity (regardless of the fact the land had been re-contoured to form the road.

 

If you buy the place it would be easy enough to block those holes if it's a problem (no sure of legality).  Or to put a little channel on your side to carry water away





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  Reply # 1968827 6-Mar-2018 11:59
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Drainage holes like that are a well established engineering method of preventing water from behind the wall pushing it over-

 

- pretty much every concrete wall I have seen has some kind of drain system like that...

 

They are certainly not illegal...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1968831 6-Mar-2018 12:07
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Long as water can run off without causing any issues once its come out of the drains, it should be fine. But if its just spilling out into "your" property with nowhere to go, then it needs to be looked at. But appears that its been there for quite some time.





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  Reply # 1968857 6-Mar-2018 12:39
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wellygary:

 

Drainage holes like that are a well established engineering method of preventing water from behind the wall pushing it over

 

 

This seems pretty key. If the holes are blocked then the wall may fall over, so I'd avoid doing that.

 

The bit of water out of those holes is probably not going to be a problem.





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  Reply # 1968861 6-Mar-2018 12:46
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The legality question is not in regards the construction of the wall itself and the drainage holes (I'm well aware the reason they are there), but the fact that it drains onto another property.

 

Asking the council seems like the best idea, I've also gotten back to the real estate agent so I'll see what he replies with.

 

I guess it's sort of in that grey area, where if there's nothing stopping them (legally) from draining the water onto this section, what's to stop the new owners in blocking these holes? - other than it being a terrible idea structually (And good point regarding who owns the retaining wall itself).

 

Thanks for the good feedback so far everyone! I love GZ :D


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  Reply # 1968876 6-Mar-2018 13:16
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What does your lawyer say?  i.e. is there anything on the title and LIM indicating who's wall that is, any easements for the drainage. 

 

Council property files will tell you a lot of info as well.   (you have to go and see them else it kinda costs and takes time for them to make copies for you). 

 

 

 

Edit; saw you are simply 'interested'.  Eitherway if you are keen and make an offer, make it subject to LIM, Title, Finance, property inspection. This way it give you some headspace and outs. 

 

(but you have to somewhat justify the outs somewhat). 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1968877 6-Mar-2018 13:16
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Looking at those photos, I would expect it to be the section you are looking at retaining wall and not the neighbors.
It appears to me the retaining wall is there to give room for the walkway, not for benefit of the neighbor.
It also appears to be down hill of the neighbors section, if the wall was not there the water would still run onto your section.

Not that I am qualified to make those assumptions. What does a builders report say.

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  Reply # 1968881 6-Mar-2018 13:29
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This is very interesting. I would have thought that in general, neighbouring lots on sloping ground would inevitably shed water to the neighbour below as there's no universal requirement to build a drain along your downhill boundary.

 

Note that this is for permeable surface. Different for non-permeable so bare ground, lawns, gardens etc would not have to be drained, but  area covered by non-permeable - be it buildings, driveways, patios etc would be required to capture water and divert into stormwater drains.

 

Is that not correct?

 

 


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  Reply # 1968956 6-Mar-2018 14:36
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kryptonjohn:

 

This is very interesting. I would have thought that in general, neighbouring lots on sloping ground would inevitably shed water to the neighbour below as there's no universal requirement to build a drain along your downhill boundary.

 

Note that this is for permeable surface. Different for non-permeable so bare ground, lawns, gardens etc would not have to be drained, but  area covered by non-permeable - be it buildings, driveways, patios etc would be required to capture water and divert into stormwater drains.

 

Is that not correct?

 

 

 I think is it covered under the "Don't be an Ar$ehole" regulations..... :)


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  Reply # 1968972 6-Mar-2018 15:06
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wellygary:

 

kryptonjohn:

 

This is very interesting. I would have thought that in general, neighbouring lots on sloping ground would inevitably shed water to the neighbour below as there's no universal requirement to build a drain along your downhill boundary.

 

Note that this is for permeable surface. Different for non-permeable so bare ground, lawns, gardens etc would not have to be drained, but  area covered by non-permeable - be it buildings, driveways, patios etc would be required to capture water and divert into stormwater drains.

 

Is that not correct?

 

 

 I think is it covered under the "Don't be an Ar$ehole" regulations..... :)

 

 

You'd hope so but I don't think so. I *think* (IANAL) that council say you have to capture non permeable areas into stormwater and the rest is natural run-off.

 

BUT .. this is for the natural form of the land which has been formed over history by water. *IF* you change the shape of the land then you have to drain it to storm water - otherwise you could introducing water onto your neighbour that might not have gone there originally.

 

That's certainly muddying the waters, if you'll excuse the pun!


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  Reply # 1968976 6-Mar-2018 15:08
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wellygary:

 

I think is it covered under the "Don't be an Ar$ehole" regulations..... :)

 

 

They're not regulations. They're a voluntary code of conduct that very few people seem to subscribe to these days.


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